Whether your school year is just getting started or your students have finally started to get their routines down, we’ve got some great STEM activities to get your students engaged and learning early in the school year.
See below for national days in September that make for great STEM activities in your classroom.
September 12: National Video Game Day
National video game day is a great opportunity to introduce students to how video games are built including the rules and logic that go into them. Game Designer in Kodable helps students construct and personalize an asteroid-blaster game including the name, difficulty level, decorations and more!
Here’s how to bring this activity into your classroom:
Before you start, have a conversation with your students about what their favorite video games are and how they think video games work.
1. Get your class setup on Kodable! Create your own account for free and get your students logged in on either chromebooks or iPads.
2. After your students login and get to Fuzztopia have them click into the Game Designer building.
3. Next, have your student click Build to start designing their own video game.
4. On the next few screens your students will have the ability to name their game, and design specific aspects of the game.
5. Finally, your students can play their own game that they’ve made!
After your students make their games, have them change different variables and see how that changes their game.
Check out our Teacher Field Guide for more information on getting started with Kodable and Game Designer.
September 19: National Coding Week
There’s never a bad time to introduce your students to coding and National Coding Week is a great place to start.
Because there are so many different coding activities available, here are two great resources to get you started:
You can also help your students understand how computers work by playing a conditionals board game that introduces students to if, then logic that computers and code run on.
September 28: Ask a "Stupid" Question Day
There’s no such thing as a stupid question and helping students understand this can empower them to not be afraid to ask questions to further their understanding in and out of the classroom.
Activity: Science Mystery Box
Small boxes or containers (one for each student or group), assorted everyday objects (small toys, kitchen utensils, office supplies, etc.), blindfolds (optional)
1. Begin by discussing the idea that sometimes questions that seem "stupid" can lead to interesting discoveries in science. Encourage students to embrace their curiosity and ask any questions that come to mind.
2. Prepare the mystery boxes by placing different objects inside each box. The objects should be varied and tactile, but not immediately recognizable through touch alone.
3. Arrange students in pairs or small groups and give each group a mystery box.
4. Explain that their task is to explore the contents of the mystery box without looking inside. They can touch, shake, and manipulate the box to gather information about what's inside.
5. Encourage students to ask "stupid" questions during the exploration process. For example, they might wonder: "Is it soft or hard?" "Does it make a sound when I shake it?" "Can I feel any moving parts?"
6. After a set amount of time, allow each group to share their observations and questions with the class.
7. Open the mystery boxes and reveal the objects. Have a discussion about how asking seemingly simple or "stupid" questions led to a better understanding of the objects.
8. Challenge students to think about how asking questions and investigating the unknown are important parts of scientific exploration.
This activity encourages students to approach learning with a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness, embracing the idea that questions, no matter how simple they may seem, are valuable tools for exploring and understanding the world around them.
See a full year’s worth of classroom activities on our 2024 STEM calendar.